US courier services company, UPS is known for pushing its carbon footprint reduction goals as they are shifting to electric vans. Now the courier services are trying out ‘eQuad’ electric cargo bikes in certain locations in the US. Around 100 of these bikes, built by British firm Fernhay will be used. Other than the US, the courier services company will also launch these in European markets and some Asian markets as well.
Other than cutting down the carbon footprints, package delivery companies are looking out for new ways to cut the cost of last-mile deliveries. As the e-commerce orders are increasing day by day it is crucial to find alternative methods. UPS eQuad is an electric-assisted vehicle with a top speed of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles). With faster pedaling, it can haul up to 100 kilograms (441 lb) of packages. The battery range of the vehicle is around 40 miles (64 km), according to the UPS vice president of fleet maintenance and engineering, Luke Wake. The range is considered to be adequate for urban routes.
Furthermore, it is known that the vehicle is around 36 inches (91 cm) wide. It means the vehicle legally can be used in bike lanes and also enter pedestrian zones, increasing its portability compared to vans or other four-wheelers. Especially as there are many instances when the drivers will have to get the load packages on carts and then deliver to customers on many locations.
According to Wake, the company sees this as an opportunity to scale up by using these bikes in “megacities”. This will add to its current fleet of a wide range of vans and trucks. While demonstrating the eQuad at a UPSpackage facility in London, “here are more and more opportunities for zero-emission solutions like this that can alleviate inner-city congestion,” Further added, “It can also help our operations be more efficient at the same time.”
Rivals like FedEx and Deutsche Post unit DHL are also testing out the electric cargo bikes. All the changes are a result of having plans to have zero emissions. Also, UPS is working with electric van makers like UK startups Arrival and Tevva, plus US truck maker Xos.
Last year in April, the eQuad was showcased at expo 2020 Dubai. At that time, Wake stated, “Innovation and transformation are at the heart of UPS’s smart global logistics network. The eQuads are specifically designed with the changes in urban delivery in mind. Many cities around the world not only have more pedestrian areas but are also growing fast, resulting in more package deliveries in busy areas inaccessible to larger vehicles. The eQuad is a solution that can deliver nimbly throughout cities reducing noise, emissions, and curbside congestion,”